picric acid

a yellow, crystalline, water-soluble, intensely bitter, poisonous acid, C6H3N3O7, used chiefly in explosives. Also called carbazotic acid, nitroxanthic acid, picronitric acid /puy"kroh nuy"trik, puy'kroh-/, trinitrophenol.
[1850-55]

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also called  2,4,6-trinitrophenol 

      pale yellow, odourless crystalline solid that has been used as a military explosive, as a yellow dye, and as an antiseptic. Picric acid (from Greek pikros, “bitter”) was so named by the 19th-century French chemist Jean-Baptiste-André Dumas because of the extremely bitter taste of its yellow aqueous solution. Percussion or rapid heating can cause it (or its salts with heavy metals, such as copper, silver, or lead) to explode.

      Picric acid was first obtained in 1771 by Peter Woulfe, a British chemist, by treating indigo with nitric acid. It was used as a yellow dye, initially for silk, beginning in 1849.

      As an explosive, picric acid was formerly of great importance. The French began using it in 1886 as a bursting charge for shells under the name of melinite. By the time of the Russo-Japanese War, picric acid was the most widely used military explosive. Its highly corrosive action on the metal surfaces of shells was a disadvantage, however, and after World War I its use declined. Ammonium picrate, one of the salts of picric acid, is used in modern armour-piercing shells because it is insensitive enough to withstand the severe shock of penetration before detonating.

      Picric acid has antiseptic and astringent properties. For medical use it is incorporated in a surface anesthetic ointment or solution and in burn ointments.

      Picric acid is a much stronger acid than phenol; it decomposes carbonates and may be titrated with bases. In a basic medium, lead acetate produces a bright yellow precipitate, lead picrate.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Picric acid — Picric acid …   Wikipedia

  • picric acid — [pik′rik] n. [Fr picrique: see PICRO & IC] a poisonous, yellow, crystalline, bitter acid, C6H2 (NO2) 3OH, used in making dyes and explosives and in analytical chemistry …   English World dictionary

  • picric acid — Nitrophnol Ni tro*ph nol, n. [Nitro + phenol.] (Chem.) Any one of a series of nitro derivatives of phenol. They are yellow oily or crystalline substances and have well defined acid properties, as {picric acid}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • picric acid — pikro rūgštis statusas T sritis chemija formulė C₆H₂(OH)(NO₂)₃ atitikmenys: angl. picric acid rus. пикриновая кислота ryšiai: sinonimas – 2,4,6 trinitrofenolis …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • picric acid — Has been used as an application in burns, eczema, erysipelas, and pruritus. SYN: carbazotic acid, nitroxanthic acid. [G. pikros, bitter] * * * pic·ric acid .pik rik n a bitter toxic explosive yellow crystalline strong acid C6H3N3O7 used esp. as a …   Medical dictionary

  • picric acid — [ pɪkrɪk] noun Chemistry a bitter yellow compound obtained by nitrating phenol, used as a dye and in the manufacture of explosives. Origin C19: picric from Gk pikros bitter + ic …   English new terms dictionary

  • picric acid — noun 2,4,6 trinitrophenol, CH(NO), prepared by the nitration of phenol or of aspirin; a toxic, yellow, explosive substance used in dyes, explosives, and as an antiseptic …   Wiktionary

  • picric acid — pic′ric ac′id [[t]ˈpɪk rɪk[/t]] n. chem. a yellow, crystalline, water soluble, intensely bitter, poisonous acid, C6H3N3O7, used chiefly in explosives • Etymology: 1850–55; < Gk pikr(ós) bitter + ic …   From formal English to slang

  • picric acid — /pɪkrɪk ˈæsəd/ (say pikrik asuhd) noun an intensely bitter yellow acid, 2,4,6 trinitrophenol, C6H2OH(NO2)3, used as a dye and an explosive. {Greek pikros bitter + ic} …   Australian English dictionary

  • picric acid —   n. yellow, bitter, poisonous acid used as dye and disinfectant and in manufacture of explosives …   Dictionary of difficult words

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